Here Are the Main Solar Generator Pros and Cons
As with any other device that utilizes solar energy instead of regular energy sources, the number one advantage of using solar generators is eco-friendliness.
Beyond being a source of clean electrical power, solar generators help save on electricity bills and have lower operating costs than many other electricity sources. They are also versatile, typically portable, quiet, and low-maintenance.
But then, solar-powered generators are not at all perfect; the initial cost of buying one is typically steep. Moreover, they can only offer a limited power supply, and in low-sunlight regions, their effectiveness is minimal.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Solar Generators?
|Solar Generators Are Environment-Friendly||The Initial Cost of a Solar Generator Is High|
|Solar Generators Are Quiet||Limited Power|
|They Can Help You Save on Electricity Bills||For Higher Capacity, You Need to Go Bigger|
|Solar-Powered Generators Have Low Operating Costs||A Solar Generator May Not Be Effective in Every Region|
|Solar Generators Are Low-Maintenance||Charging Can Be Slow|
|Solar Generators Are Typically Portable|
|You Can Recharge Them Using Multiple Sources|
Pros of Solar Generators
Solar generators work by converting the sun’s energy into electricity.
When solar energy reaches a solar panel, it causes electrons to move towards one end of the solar panel cells. This, in turn, creates voltage or potential difference, which is then used to power electric devices.
Throughout the process of converting solar power to electricity, solar generators release no harmful byproducts. Unlike gas generators, a solar power generator will not give off carbon monoxide or other pollutants that can harm the environment.
Apart from that, solar energy is renewable energy. The sun will always replenish itself naturally, so solar energy will never get depleted.
Conversely, a fuel-powered generator runs on fossil fuels. Unfortunately, fossil fuels will most likely be exhausted in the next 50 years. So, they are not sustainable.
Unlike conventional generators that have moving parts, solar-powered generators have no moving parts. So, when you are using them, they make no noise. The absence of noise while using them is another way they are environment-friendly.
Save on Electricity Bills
Besides being renewable energy, solar energy is free energy; you will not pay to use the sun to generate electricity. Knowing this, you can use a solar-powered generator as an off-grid supplement to your mains electricity.
Most solar generators function as portable power sources for camping trips or RVs. Some are used as a backup power source in case of power outage. But they can be more.
You do not have to power all the appliances in your home with mains electricity. You can run some of them primarily with solar power from your solar generator. This way, you can reduce your mains power consumption and your electricity bills.
Low Operating Costs
One of the best solar generator benefits is the low operation costs. As said earlier, the energy from the sun is free. So, unlike a gas generator or mains electricity, you do not incur any expenditure every time you use a solar generator. In fact, solar generators typically operate at no cost.
Gas generators are prone to mechanical issues because they have moving parts. To ensure such issues do not cause a total breakdown, a conventional fuel-powered generator may need maintenance from time to time.
Since they have no moving parts the likelihood of solar generator parts breaking down is low. So, they rarely ever need maintenance – they could go years without any repairs or maintenance.
Solar generators are usually portable. So, unlike traditional gas generators, you can readily carry them around.
The upside of having a portable solar generator is that its usefulness exceeds your house. You can readily take it with you on trips – whether camping or road trips.
Of course, not every solar-powered generator out there is portable. You may find some heavy products with larger capacities. In some cases, while the solar generators themselves are small, their solar panels are not.
Recharge With Multiple Sources
Most solar generators sold today are built in a way that allows you to recharge them using multiple power sources. So, even when the sun does not shine or give enough energy, you can charge your solar generator with mains electricity or your car.
Cons of Solar Generators
One of the top cons of a solar generator is the high upfront costs. While a solar generator can cost you as much as $2500 upfront, you can get a gas generator for half the price.
However, while the initial cost of a solar generator is high, the operating costs is typically zero. Unlike gas-powered generators, which require fuel for its operation, you do not have to worry about fuel costs with solar generators.
While a solar generator can cover some of your power needs, the total power output of solar generators is typically capped. In other words, while your solar generator might work for small appliances, it may not be suitable for medium to large house appliances with power requirements above its maximum output power.
Beyond that, solar generators work with a battery storage system. They store solar power in a rechargeable battery as DC electricity and give AC power to your devices. But then, they have a battery capacity. This means that they cannot store energy in their rechargeable battery beyond a certain amount.
Once the energy stored in a solar generator battery is exhausted the generator stops powering your devices. This remains so until a new solar power inflow from the solar panel gets inside the battery.
For Higher Capacity, You Need to Go Bigger
While solar-powered generators typically offer limited output power, you can increase their capacity. But to increase the capacity of your solar-powered generator, you have to go bigger.
In going bigger, you may have to get bigger solar panels and a bigger generator. So, your portable generator may not be portable in the end. Aside from that, going bigger means you will carry more weight and spend more money.
Relies on the Sun
One of the most obvious cons of a solar generator is its reliance on the sun for clean power.
In an area with low sunlight, your solar-powered generator may never store sufficient solar energy. And if you try to recharge it with mains electricity or your car, your solar power system stops being eco-friendly.
Charging a solar generator with solar panels can be slow. On average, it can take up to 8 hours to get a full charge. But you can get a full charge with mains electricity in half the time.
For faster charging, you could try increasing how many solar panels you use to charge your solar-powered generator. But this means more expenses and less portability.
Solar power generators are portable, eco-friendly backup power sources that require minimal maintenance. They may have a high initial cost and low effectiveness in low-sunlight areas. But their noiseless, low-cost operations and multiple charging sources make up for those downsides.
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